Natural Personal Care
When I first developed Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and started reacting to all the personal care products I was previously using, I was lost. I did not know what to do. I had no idea what was happening to me.
I went to the pharmacy and tried baby products. Big mistake – they are not less chemical at all – some even had formaldehyde in their ingredients!
I tried perfume-free products for sensitive skin and that was a bit better, but my skin and hair were still looking awful and I could not find a toothpaste that I wouldn't react to.
Then I found out about organic products, so I tried that. But most had essential oils or other natural ingredients that I would react to, like wheat or oats.
It was a very long journey of many years and so many times I bought products I could not use – my friends got a lot of gifts from me!
For a few months my scalp was so sensitive I was unable to use any of the shampoo products I had used previously – so I could not wash my hair and it looked like a greasy mess – I was so embarrassed to go out in public!
In the end I decided I would not put on my skin anything that I could not safely eat.
Because the end result is very similar: substances are absorbed through the skin into the blood and end up all over our body.
You might even be aware that some supplements and medications can be taken through skin application, for example vitamin E oil or magnesium sulphate (Epsom salts) baths.
So, this is what I use now and my skin and hair have never looked so good and healthy! Another plus is that these products are generally much cheaper than anything else you could use.
It is a very short list – I find it so good to simplify life!
I was not able to find any commercial shampoo that would not irritate my scalp and make it flake and get itchy.
Then I read about someone who was using baking soda for shampoo. I tried it and never went back to the shampoo I was using before!
It makes my hair silky, soft and clean. My hair tends to get quite oily, and baking soda helps to balance it.
It is a must when decontaminating from mycotoxin exposure or when detoxing heavily through the skin.
Baking soda is also the best way I have found to remove chemical scents that linger on the skin after some exposure to scented products.
How to use it: dissolve 1/2 to 1 teaspoons of baking soda powder in a glass of warm water (cold water is just unpleasant when you are in the shower!) and use immediately as shampoo or for washing your skin. Repeat if necessary.
I struggled very hard to find a toothpaste I was happy with. Have you noticed that even natural toothpaste formulations have sweeteners? I did not like this, I wanted something really natural.
I also could not find any commercial product that did not make my gums hurt.
In the end, I decided to use green clay to brush my teeth.
After some time I was pleasantly surprised to find my cavities were healing! Now all of them are healed, except two that were drilled by a dentist and filled with a polymer, which feel out over time. I am hoping they will eventually heal too.
I used to have sensitive teeth and gums, and that is all gone!
The fine particles in the clay will gently polish our teeth, while the rich mineral content replenishes missing minerals.
Many people use clay as a toxin binder and that effect will also contribute to a healthy mouth, by cleaning up any toxins absorbed through environmental exposures or produced by dental bacteria.
Recently a friend asked me about what I was doing to make my teeth so white. I was surprised with that question! The answer is - I brush my teeth with green clay – that's all!
How to use it: put the clay in a small container. Wet your toothbrush and dip it in the clay, so that it picks up a layer of the powder. Brush your teeth!
Other recommendations: some green clays can contain high levels of aluminium. The clay should have a neutral or pleasant taste. If it tastes bad to you, don't use it – it is your body telling you this is not good for you. Try different brands until you find one you are happy with.
You can also try different kinds of clay – they should all have similar results.
I used to use a natural, biodegradable toothbrush made out of bamboo wood and I was very happy with it. The cost of shipping made it too expensive for me to buy more at the moment, so now I am using a plastic toothbrush with replaceable heads with bristles made with natural fibres.
Virgin coconut and olive oils
As a moisturiser for my skin I use natural cooking oils – virgin olive oil and coconut oil.
Coconut oil is also great for using after washing the hair if your hair is a bit dry and it makes beautiful curls if your hair is curly.
I also use coconut oil once in a while to brush my teeth - it removes dental plaque and makes the teeth feel great.
Natural coconut or olive oil soap
Most organic soaps I have found are made with a blend of different oils and are scented.
The most gentle kind of soaps for the skin are those made with 100% coconut or olive oil. They will not dry up the skin as much as other kinds of soap.
I use this for washing my hands.
So, technically this is the only item on my list that is not usually ingested, though I don't think one would come to any harm by eating soap – it would just be a very unpleasant experience from the bad taste!